Ruth Reichl’s Brownies

Cooked up on May 10, 2012

Filed under: baking, dessert

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I’ve been reading a lot of Ruth Reichl lately – I put all of her books on hold at the library and – this NEVER happens – they all came in at the same time. So now I have four of them. Dave has started referring to her as my girlfriend.

This recipe is adapted from “Tender at the Bone,” a memoir of her childhood and how she came to be a foodie in the first place. This recipe came from the first time she ever taught cooking classes as a job. Someone actually called her the “gypsy chef” or something ridiculous IN PRINT. But then people came, and it was the start of a really long and successful career, as we can see.

As you are reading this, I am still at Camp Arrowhead in Washington State with my coworkers. Tonight when I get back, our family will be here from out of state! I can’t wait.

Here’s what you need:

2/3 cup butter
5 oz. semisweet baker’s chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup AP flour

Preheat the oven to 400 and heavily grease a brownie pan. The recipe calls for a 9-inch square pan but in this case, a pan about that size (I used a round one) made brownies that are an inch and a half thick. You can certainly use a bigger pan but if you do, adjust the baking time (shorten it significantly) accordingly. Another note – Ruth says that because of the fudgy nature of these brownies, the toothpick doneness test doesn’t work (though, you would never want your brownies that done anyway, right?).

Cut the butter and chocolate into chunks and gently melt (have the heat on medium high) in a heat proof bowl on top of a saucepan with an inch of water in it. This will take a little but but don’t rush. Add the vanilla as it is almost done, and then take off the heat to cool.

Put the eggs, salt and sugar in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium for about ten minutes. This will make the mixture a very light yellow.

Turn the speed down to low and add the chocolate until just combined. Then, add the flour very quickly and stir in with a spatula. Do not overstir!

Pour into the pan, and then put the pan in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350. If you are using the smaller pan, bake for 40 minutes. I suggest maybe 30 if you use an 11×13 pan. These should be very very soft and moist.

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